Jun 28, 2005

Musicians, songwriters: P2P ruling rocks

Source: ZD Net
Written By Michael Kanellos

If there’s one group that seems excited about the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in the Grokster file-sharing case, it’s the people in the studio.

Many musicians, songwriters and music publishers reacted positively to the court’s ruling, which essentially said that peer-to-peer networks can be held liable for copyright infringement.

Although the peer-to-peer networks have allowed smaller bands and musicians to reach wider audiences, illegal downloads have hurt their bottom lines by depressing sales.

“It became so rampant that it was hurting everyone,” said Matt Whittington, label manager for Eighteenth Street Lounge Music, or ESL. “Everyone wants to get paid for what they do.”

ESL was created by members of Thievery Corporation, a musical act that decided to form its own brand rather than try to sign with a major label. The group has had No. 1 hits in Greece and Portugal this year. However, it still only sells about 150,000 to 250,000 records a year.

“If we lose 30 percent, that’s a big deal,” Whittington said.

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